The Big Little Things

You have probably heard the phrase, "Don't sweat the small stuff." Well, it is sometimes the small stuff that makes the difference for something or someone to go from ordinary to standing out. Consider the difference that the icing does make on the cake. How close is winning by a tenth of a second in a major competition? What impact does a simple "thank you" or "I love you" have-especially when your day has been less than perfect?

Here are a few little things that we came up with:

  • Send a handwritten note to an important customer, employee or friend. Write a note on the napkin that you put in your child’s school lunch

  • Bring bagels or donuts for your co-workers for no reason at all

  • Help someone remove their carry on bag from the overhead bin

  • Call your Mom and just say hello

  • Show up to work 30 minutes early and stay 30 minutes late

  • Don't just brush your teeth – floss!

  • Clean the snow off of someone else's car. Someone you don't even know

  • Smile

  • Unload the dishwasher-even if it isn't your day (And especially if you don't know where the dishwasher is.)

  • When you meet someone new, remember their name and call them by name when the opportunity arises

  • Wish your friends, family, co-workers and clients a Happy Birthday

  • Freshen your breath-regularly

  • Volunteer for a project at work. Join a committee that doesn't have anything to do with your job.

  • Put the toilet seat down, rinse the dishes off after dinner, take the dog out without being asked, clean the hair from the sink, hang the picture that has been sitting by the side of the bed for the last two months and don't squeeze the tooth paste in the middle.

Take a minute and consider what "little things" you can do that will make a difference and then do them. J. Willard Marriott said, It's the little things that make the big things possible. Only close attention to the fine details of any operation makes the operation first class.